Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television With ‘Ice & Coco’ Co-Executive Producer Cordelia Bowe

From left: Woman, Ice T, and Cordelia BowePhoto Credit:

July 28, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

'Ice & Coco' Co-Executive Producer Cordelia Bowe

Cordelia Bowe, right, is pictured with Ice-T, host of the new daytime talk show Ice & Coco, and executive producer Candi Carter
Photo Credit: Cordelia Bowe

This week, Ready4Air (TV) brings back its popular series, “My Life In Television” with Ice & Coco co-executive producer Cordelia Bowe. As you may already know, summer is hiatus season for many television shows, but it is also the time for television pilots to get a test run with the viewing audience. A pilot is a standalone episode of a television series that is used to sell the show to a television network. Once the pilot is produced, networks looking for feedback to determine if it should go to full series may run it for a limited time for a limited audience.

Well, after a successful run in the reality world, rapper/actor Ice-T and his newly-pregnant wife, Coco Austin, are jumping into the daytime talk show world with their new show Ice & Coco. The show premieres on August 3.

What’s your job title today and your job responsibilities?

I’m the co-executive producer of Ice & Coco, a new talk show from Telepictures Productions. It’s a three-week preview of a fun talk show hosted by the rapper/actor Ice-T and his dynamic and gorgeous wife Coco. It premieres on August 3 on select FOX-owned stations. My responsibilities include coming up with show content, formatting the show, approving the set, supervising the staff, managing the budget, communicating with talent, staffing the show, and conferring with the development, programming, marketing, publicity, production, and social media staff.

What skills does someone need to be good at your job?

An EP needs to be organized, creative, a good writer, a strong manager, a problem solver, and have the ability to recognize strong talent, the ability to collaborate, and have good instincts and ideas.

What was your first job in television and what did you have to do?

When I was a sophomore at New York University, I was hired as a page at ABC. It was a part-time paid position for college students, which is unheard of these days. I was assigned to cover the green room for Good Morning America and Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. I also gave tours of the ABC soap operas and worked the doors at various network parties and events. By the middle of my senior year, I had a full-time staff job as a desk assistant in the WABC newsroom.

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry and why?

Creative and fun! Each project is a new adventure. I love collaborating with talented, creative, and interesting people. It’s a great feeling to band together with a group of people and create something to share with viewers.

Which person taught you the most in your career?

There are three women who mentored me along the way, and I will be forever grateful to them. At different stages of my career, I worked as a supervising producer under Betsy Alexander, Nancy Jacoby, and Maureen Fitzpatrick, and I learned different but invaluable things from each one of them. A mentor is key in the TV industry.

What are the best and worst parts of working in television?

The best part is producing a segment or a show that changes someone’s day, or even his or her life. The worst part is the instability of the business. Shows get cancelled all the time, and there is nothing worse then breaking that bad news to a staff.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Melinda Murphy Finds The Perfect Fit After TV

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

There are a lot of ups and downs in television, so always finding the humor in a situation is important. It can be long hours and hard work, so laughter in the office and in the studio is key.

If you weren’t working in the television industry, what other job would you have pursued?

When I was working at WABC, I applied and was accepted to the Columbia School of Journalism masters program. After deferring my acceptance for a year, I decided to keep working and never attended. Had I gone to Columbia, I probably would have wound up working in print media.

I have found that hard work is good, but there are few other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

To survive in TV you have to have the Three “F”s: Be Flexible, be Fearless and be Full throttle at all times!

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Be assertive and straightforward. Figure out who can mentor you and ask them for help. If you can’t get into the industry right away, don’t get discouraged. Timing is everything, so keep trying. Take any job that will expose you to the business, and then work hard and ask a lot of questions. Keep pushing forward and looking for the next stepping stone. Never stop moving forward.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

It takes a lot of hard work, but it’s all worth it. There were times when I worked seven days a week and  was exhausted and stressed out, but it was usually gratifying in the end. If it wasn’t, I moved on to something new.

When you are ready to quit television, what do you want to do?

Travel around the world, but first I have to win the lottery.

Finally, when you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

Orange Is the New Black and Scandal. Come August 3, I will be watching Ice & Coco on FOX-owned stations in New York (WNYW), Los Angeles (KTTV), Washington D.C. (WTTG), Atlanta (WAGA), Phoenix (KSAZ), and Detroit (WJBK), and on Sinclair Broadcasting stations in Baltimore (WUTB) and Raleigh (WRDC).

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Executive Producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz Always Asks “Is This Good For The Show?”

'Ice & Coco' Co-Executive Producer Cordelia Bowe

Cordelia Bowe, co-executive producer of Ice & Coco
Photo Credit: Cordelia Bowe

Cordelia Bowe has worked as a producer and show runner in the television industry for more than 20 years. Currently, she is the co-executive producer of Ice & Coco, premiering on August 3 on Fox-owned stations. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Thanks, Cordy! I’m looking forward to seeing the new show.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) My Life In Television with Cordelia Bowe

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | #Repost “My Life In Television” With Meachun Clark

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May 28, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

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Originally published on April 15, 2015

Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” is where television folks before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Meachun Clark, AFTRA Coordinator for VH-1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, gives us a look at the various jobs she has had in TV production. Meet Meachun!

What’s your job title today? What are your job responsibilities?

I am the AFTRA Coordinator for VH-1’s Big Morning Buzz Live hosted by Nick Lachey. My duties include getting contracts and payroll forms completed by the various talent performing on the show. I also have to maintain a budget and do a lot of filing. I keep track of lots and lots of paperwork.

What is the best part and the hardest part of your job?

The best part is the feeling of satisfaction when my job is complete and the checks go out every week. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to witness amazing performances on a daily basis! The hardest part is convincing the talent to actually complete the paperwork when they first see the packet. It includes more than 10 pages! I sometimes feel like a schoolteacher when I check over their work to make sure it’s all correct before they leave the building.

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

You must be extremely organized because of the amount of paperwork you must generate and keep track of. It also helps to be personable when dealing with talent–as well as their reps–to get everything you need taken care of.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Executive Producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz Always Asks “Is This Good For The Show?”

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry? Why?

Extraordinary and exhausting. This industry is a great balance between those two words. On one hand, the experiences you gain are simply extraordinary–from doing shows in amazing locations around the world (all expenses paid), to the simplest things like having catered meals and not having to worry about what you’re going to eat when you’re super-busy. Not to mention the satisfaction of executing complex productions. You definitely live a life that is more glamorous than the average person’s, and you must make an effort to take it all in and appreciate that fact.

On the other hand, it’s an exhausting field of work. You work long hours, sometimes even through the weekend and have so much to process throughout the day. There are a lot of deadlines to meet, so you feel constant pressure.

Which person taught you the most in your career?

There are actually two women who both influenced me greatly.

Deborah Byrd, who is a talent producer for many awards shows and specials on BET like BET Honors, BET Awards, and BET Hip-Hop Awards. She first introduced me to the world of talent coordinating. She gracefully handles being inundated with tons of emails and phone calls of pitches for her shows. She always has a smile on her face and works extremely hard to create the best shows possible.

The other is Taryn Hurd, also an amazing talent producer who currently books The Academy Awards. She was my mentor when we worked together on various awards shows and television specials. She makes the long hours we spent in the office so much fun. She taught me how to work hard and play harder.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

Colored highlighters and to-do lists! I have a highlighter designated for each day of the week and I use it to check off tasks on my list as I complete them. Color cheers me up, so it makes me happy to see my notebook full of highlights at the end of the day. It makes me feel accomplished.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

Advertising.

I have found that hard work is good. However, there are other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

  • Treat EVERYONE you encounter with the utmost respect. From the PA up to the executive producer. You create a nice working environment for yourself when you pass someone in the hall and give them a smile or strike up a water-cooler conversation. Coworkers become like your family after you spend so many long hours and months working on a show. Also, today’s PA can easily become tomorrow’s executive and be in a position to hire you!
  • You cannot be starstruck and work around talent. We all have celebrities that are near and dear to our hearts, but you must remain professional at all times. Asking for pictures for your Instagram while you’re working makes for an awkward environment. You want the talent to be relaxed and able to stay focused on performing well.
  • Never stop learning. Don’t ever rest on your laurels. The industry changes so much from season to season. Never feel that a different position is beneath you. It helps to learn all aspects of production and be versatile. Don’t be a one-trick pony.

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Simply, be prepared to work LONG hours. Sometimes sleep and a social life are thrown out of the window. A lot of your job is what we like to call “hurry up and wait.” This means you have to wait for answers from various people before you can move forward with your duties. At the end of the day when the show goes on air, you have such an awesome adrenaline rush and sense of accomplishment.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Melinda Murphy Finds The Perfect Fit After TV

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

The most important thing I’ve learned is to enjoy every second and never take it for granted. As a freelancer, shows are canceled every day, and then you move on to the next gig. Cherish every opportunity you are given. No matter what walk of life you are from, chances are you have a television at home. Entertainment is one thing that bonds us all. Everyone loves to escape their everyday lives for a while.

When you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

I like to watch a lot of reality television and a few scripted shows like Scandal and Being Mary Jane. I truly enjoy studying human behavior and why people do what they do.

What do you plan to do when you leave television?

I actually never want to leave. I want to continue to evolve and eventually create and produce my own programming.

 

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Meachun Clark has been in the entertainment industry for 15 years. After graduating from Indiana University–where she worked at Red Lobster–she transferred to the Beverly Hills location to earn money while she looked for a job in the industry. She lucked up and found an executive assistant position with Bain/Sills Productions. She stayed there for 10 years where she evolved into a casting director, travel coordinator, talent coordinator, and, ultimately, SAG-AFTRA coordinator. Meachun has worked on wonderful live-event specials such as The Academy Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, and even President Obama’s Inaugural Neighborhood Ball. As a colleague once said, “She went from Red Lobster to the red carpet.” She has worked as a freelancer for the past five years and loves the freedom to decide when to work and when to play. Connect with Meachun on LinkedIn.

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Thanks, Meachun!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) 3 ways to stay motivated to lead your business

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | #Repost “My Life In Television” With Michelle Jaffe Sherry

Michelle Jaffe Sherry 
Photo credit: Michelle Jaffe Sherry

May 27, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Michelle Sherry Photo credit: is this a selfie?

Michelle Jaffe Sherry
Photo credit: Michelle Jaffe Sherry

Originally published on February 16, 2015

This week, we continue Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” where television folks before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Michelle Jaffe Sherry–a freelancer–gives a look at the life of a TV writer. Meet Michelle!

What’s your job title today and what are your job responsibilities?

I am a freelancer so my title could change from job to job, but today, I am the writer for Arise and Shine on Arise TV.

As a television writer, explain the top three things to consider when writing copy.

First, so much depends on the type of show you’re writing. I write a lot of talk/information show scripts, and you have to keep in mind the voice of the reader. For example, it’s The Wendy Williams Show not The Michelle Sherry Show. The writing has to jive with her way of speaking. Second, you have to consider the length of the piece or segment. Is it a 30-second promo or an investigative tape package? Third, most times, less is more. An efficient and clever use of words is key.

How is writing for news, talk shows, and radio different?

I’ve never been a news writer, but I think in news you are doling out information. What you’re writing is being read word for word (for the most part), and the information needs to be accurate and clear.

For talk shows each talk show host is different. It depends on their comfort level with reading prompter, ad libbing, etc. Usually, you write intros and outros and then lay out the segment with either bullet points or questions. But the intros and outros are really like a series of teases. The object is to keep the viewer watching.

I produced one radio show, which was a combination of a music countdown and entertainment talk show. You’re mostly coming up with ideas and giving the hosts jumping-off points as opposed to writing actual scripts. But I did write a lot of games and questions for contests and competitions, etc. You want to make sure your hosts have a solid direction of what they’re talking about.

What are the best and hardest parts of your job?

The best part of the job is when you hear an audience respond to what you’ve written. If I write a funny intro, and the audience laughs at it, it’s a real rush! I can only imagine how comedy writers or comedians feel!

The hardest part is keeping it fresh. When you work on a talk show and you do a lot of the same topics, you still have to change it up. Also hard–but kind of fun if you’re crazy like me–are the last-minute changes that happen with live or live-to-tape TV. You have to move fast, and when you get it done, it’s great!

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Senior Producer Juggling Two Shows

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

Obviously, grammar and spelling are key. Plus, for TV, you really have to know how to turn a phrase. It goes back to the efficiency of words–something I don’t think I practiced answering these questions!

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry and why?

Manic and gritty! Manic because you’re working and then you’re not. You work 36 hours straight, then you sleep for 4 days. You make lots of money, then nothing. Gritty because it takes resourcefulness and determination to succeed in this crazy business. It’s not for the weak of heart.

Which person taught you the most in your career?

I can’t think of one in particular. I can think of many lessons I’ve learned, good and bad, from people in almost every job I’ve had.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

To remember that it’s not life and death. It’s television. The longer I’m in it, the stronger that mantra becomes. It puts the nonsense into perspective and makes me happier and more productive.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

I have always been intrigued by the hospitality business–hotel management or something like that.

I have found that hard work is good, but there are few other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

Be nice. It really makes a world of difference in the workplace and it’s good for the soul. Plus, people will want to work with you. But also, don’t be so nice that you’re a pushover.

Don’t forget from whence you came. In other words, remember those who helped you out when you were coming up and looking for work or for the next step, etc. You never know when they can help you and it will happen. Goes back to being nice.

Nothing’s fair. This was said to me in my internship at WCBS-TV, and every time I hear someone complain that something’s not fair in the workplace, I think of it. Learn how to fight your battles, which ones to fight, and then walk away–victorious or defeated–with your head held high.

Related Post: Ready4Air | What You Need To Do To Make A Midlife Career Change

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Networking is everything. You can’t be shy. You have nothing to lose by reaching out to people if you do it in the right way. You’ll be disappointed by many, but then someone comes along that gets you through another day. No one likes doing it, but it’s how you get work. Also, read the trades, know the industry and the people in it, and learn from what you read.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

That like any relationship, your relationship with your career ebbs and flows. You’ll have great runs with great gigs, and more times than not they end, and you have to figure out what’s next. But that can be the most exciting thing ever, if you let it be. I’ve realized that I am extremely versatile and open to new adventures in my career. I have taken many leaps–some successful, some not–but I have no regrets.

Finally, when you are relaxing what do you like to watch on television?

So many things! I am a TV addict. Lots of Bravo, lots of prime time. Also lots of documentaries, biographies, etc. I’m always juggling my DVR to record everything!

Michelle Sherry Photo credit: is this a selfie?

Michelle Jaffe Sherry
Photo credit: Michelle Jaffe Sherry

Michelle Sherry is an Emmy-nominated writer/producer in television who works in news, talk, variety, and on-air promotion. Her career began at WCBS-TV News in New York, after a successful internship in the Channel 2 newsroom. After a short stint in the New York film business, Michelle returned to TV and worked on late night shows, including Saturday Night Live. She also worked on the launches of The Maury Povich Show and The Ricki Lake Show, and spent much of the past two decades in and out of daytime talk. Presently, she is writing for Arise and Shine, a weekend breakfast show on Arise TV. Michelle and her husband, Randy, live in Oakland, New Jersey, with their cute and very hairy dogs, Sydney and Gordon.

Thanks, Michelle!

Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) The dramatic conclusion of The Celebrity Apprentice

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | #Repost “My Life In Television” With Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza, Senior Producer  CBS "The Talk"
Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

May 27, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Lauren Danza, Senior Producer  CBS "The Talk" Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza, senior producer of CBS’s The Talk
Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

Originally published on February 26, 2015

I am excited to launch Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” where television folk before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Lauren Danza gives a look at the life of a senior producer on the CBS network daily entertainment show The Talk. Meet Lauren!

What’s your job title today? What are your job responsibilities?

I’m a senior producer at The Talk. I’m responsible for producing celebrity guests, cooking segments, musical acts, and, occasionally, authors and lifestyle experts.

In the case of a celebrity segment, this includes: researching the guest and the current project they are promoting; working with the guest’s publicity team to arrange pre-interview and logistics; conducting a pre-interview with the guest over the phone; gathering video and graphic elements to be used in the segment; developing an overall outline for the interview, including questions our hosts may ask and any games or comedy bits that we intend to do as part of the segment; briefing the hosts and the guest before the show; communicating our plans with our director and crew, including our art department and props department, as needed; and executing the segment from the stage floor during the live show.

What is the best part and the hardest part of your job?

They go hand-in-hand. In my opinion, the hardest part of producing a great talk segment is finding that little “nugget” of previously unknown information about your guest, or coming up with a creative idea that will set your segment out from any that viewers have seen before. When those things come together, it can often lead to a great TV moment.

My best example of this came when I was assigned to produce actress Valerie Harper shortly after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. By the time she made it to The Talk, she had already appeared on several news and talk shows to discuss her diagnosis and plans for the future. During one of those segments, in a short retrospective of her career, I spotted an old black-and-white photo of her from the Rhoda days, posing outside her soundstage door. I noticed that it looked an awful lot like our own Stage 16 on the CBS Radford lot where we shoot The Talk. After doing some research, I indeed learned that Rhoda was shot on our stage. With that in mind, we surprised Valerie live on our show with a bronze plaque to be placed outside our stage door commemorating that Rhoda was shot there. The dedication brought her to tears. We also recreated the photo, more than 35 years after the original was shot.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: TV Writer Michelle Jaffe Sherry Pens Her Story

Valerie Harper outside the same studio where Rhoda was filmedPhoto credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Valerie Harper, in 2013, outside the same studio where Rhoda was filmed
Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

 

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

Excellent communication and writing skills, an outgoing personality with a natural curiosity about people, and the ability to work on deadline in a high-pressure environment.

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry? Why?

I’m willing to say it IS exciting (albeit, not every day). While we put in hard days and long hours, I try not to lose sight of the fact that I’ve had the chance to meet big-name celebrities, chefs, musicians, athletes, and newsmakers. Together as a show, we are entertaining millions of people across the country each day!

Nonstop. In the world of news, there are no weekends or holidays. You can’t show reruns. Even in entertainment, once the season starts, the train keeps rolling. As soon as you wrap today’s show, you’re thinking about tomorrow’s.

Which person taught you the most in your career?

Julie Chen, who I’ve worked with for ten years now at both The Early Show and The Talk, has taught me the importance of delivering information clearly, concisely, and accurately–whether you’re writing copy that will be read on-camera, pitching an idea to your boss, or briefing the hosts or guests.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

Remaining level-headed. It’s TV; it’s not life and death. Don’t beat yourself up if you lose a booking, a guest is less-than-friendly to you, or a segment didn’t go exactly as you planned. We producers tend to be perfectionists, and while it’s important to learn from your mistakes, I try not to let them get me down. The beauty of working on a daily broadcast is that you have no choice but to move forward and prepare for the next day’s show.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

Marketing or advertising.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | With The Clock Ticking, Producers Prep On Show Day

I have found that hard work is good. However, there are other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

Explore all areas of television. I never saw myself making the jump from news to talk, but I’m thankful every day that I did. I’ve also learned so much from my colleagues who have backgrounds as varied as primetime entertainment, comedy writing, development, and reality and game shows.

Be willing to work every shift there is. Sometimes the fastest way to more responsibility or a promotion is by volunteering for a shift that no one wants, even if it means giving up your nights or weekends.

Be kind to everyone. It takes a staff and crew of nearly 200 people to broadcast our show every day. Remember that everyone’s job is equally as important as yours when it comes to getting on the air. Befriending colleagues in every department of the show will benefit you greatly.

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Television is not a 9-to-5, Monday through Friday industry. Be prepared to be “on call” at all times. I’m very fortunate now to be on a show with reasonable hours, but if you are launching a new show or working on a news program, you may often be expected to drop whatever you are doing if duty calls. Weekends, family life, personal time, and even planned vacations are often infringed upon.

When you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Brooklyn 99, Mad Men, House of Cards, HGTV, and network morning news shows.

What do you plan to do when you leave television?

Retire on a beach somewhere.

Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza, senior producer of CBS’s The Talk
Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza is an Emmy-nominated senior producer at The Talk, a national daytime talk show on CBS hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and Sheryl Underwood. She previously worked at CBS’s The Early Show, where she had the opportunity to cover a wide range of news stories, including the 2008 presidential election, as well as the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She got her start as a desk assistant at NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

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Thanks, Lauren!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Learn how to create a podcast

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | #Repost “My Life In Television” With Jessica Herzberg

Jessica Herzberg
Photo Credit: Jessica Herzberg

May 26, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Jessica Herzberg Photo Credit: Jessica Herzberg

Jessica Herzberg
Photo Credit: Jessica Herzberg

Originally published on February 3, 2015

This month, I am excited to launch Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” where television folk before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. This morning, Jessica Herzberg–a CBS News The Early Show alum who is now at Fox Business Network–gives a look at the life of a senior producer. Meet Jessica!

 

What’s your job title today? 

I am a senior producer at Fox Business Network. I’m currently immersed in two shows: Making Money with Charles Payne, and Unpacked, a brand-new show we’re in the midst of launching the week of February 9.

What is the best part and the hardest part of your job?

The best part is the gratification of seeing the work I do come to life on TV. I always love seeing the ideas we conceive come together as great segments with cool on-air graphics and having the words I write being spoken by the host or anchor of the show. It just never gets old.

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

I think being creative and a great writer are key, but to be successful in this business, you also have to have a sense of urgency. When you have live deadlines, there is no room for error.

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry? Why?

Now that I’m done laughing, I would say fun and grueling. Fun because despite being jaded, I do recognize that there are a lot of aspects to this business that are fun and cool. You get to try new things, and every day is a new day with a new show, so you always get to start with a clean slate. I enjoy and appreciate that. And grueling because this is a business where people work very long hours, including late nights and weekends, and your life can be dictated by what’s going on in the news.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | A Producer Reflects: The Night I Won An Emmy

Which person taught you the most in your career?

I don’t know that I can truly say that there is one person who taught me the most. I have worked on such a variety of shows that I have learned really integral things from a number of people. But among those who I feel really taught me the most are Steve Friedman, Alex Wallace, and Nanci Ross–all from my days at CBS.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

Remembering that this isn’t brain surgery or life-and-death. We work in TV. And when I get home, my kids don’t care what I have done all day. They just want to know if I stopped off to pick up the new charger I promised to get or the birthday gift for the party they have tomorrow. That definitely keeps me grounded.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

I’m a real estate addict and even have my license, so I would have to say real estate. But part of me has always thought about being a lawyer, and my parents say I argue enough, so that might have been a career choice.

I have found that hard work is good. However, there are other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

1) Have thick skin. This is not about you, personally–it’s about the show. You’ve got to let things roll off your back and keep going.

2) Keep smiling. Sometimes work sucks. Don’t complain. Just do the sucky things the same way you do the things you enjoy the most, and people will always want to work with you.

3) Don’t burn bridges. This is a very small, incestuous business, and someone you dislike today could very well be running the show you’re dying to work for tomorrow. Always be nice.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | When Mom’s A Producer : 2TV Chicks, The Pilot…A Guilt Trip!

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

You must be willing to start at the very bottom and learn all the seemingly low-level tasks if you want to get ahead. There is no room for entitlement. We have ALL worked the overnights, been the field assistant, and logged tapes. And it has made us all better.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

There is a way to be firm and not accept subpar work while still being (mostly) nice and letting your staff know you appreciate them. Yelling and screaming are just not productive.

When you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

Either 60 Minutes or Real Sports, or mindless reality TV like the “Housewives” franchise.

What do you plan to do when you leave television?

Sleep :).

 

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Jessica Herzberg is an Emmy-nominated producer who is currently a senior producer at the Fox Business Network. She is with the show Making Money with Charles Payne, which she helped to launch in June 2014. She is in the midst of launching a brand-new show for the network, set to debut the week of February 9, 2015. Jessica has previously launched and run Money with Melissa Francis for FBN, as well as The Five for the Fox News Channel. In her time with Fox, Jessica was also the senior producer for America’s Election Headquarters during the 2008 election, as well as senior producer for Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. Before her time at Fox, Jessica was a supervising producer for The Nate Berkus Show and spent eight years producing for The Early Show on CBS.

Jessica lives in New York City with her two children, Jake and Zoe. In her spare time, she indulges her real estate addiction (she is also a licensed agent), her obsession with doTERRA essential oils, and naps as often as possible.

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Thanks, Jessica!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Must-Have Apps For 2015

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | Holiday Edition: “Tell Me…How Did You Get Into Television?”

Control Room Arise TV
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

May 25, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Control Room Arise TV Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Control room at Arise TV
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell and Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

I hope that everyone is having an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend.

You’re probably having a good time with friends and family, but if you decide to take a break and spend a little time online, please check out Ready4Air. It has been three years since this blog began, and during that time, we have featured amazing stories of people in the television industry–both behind-the-scenes and in front of the camera. These are all great resources for anyone interested in finding out about TV production.

This week on Ready4Air, we shine the studio lights on several people profiled in the past by rerunning a few of their memorable interviews featured in two of our series: “Tell Me…How Did You Get Into Television?” and “My Life In Television.”

Related Post: So You Want To Be On TV: Tips For Pitching Your Television Segment

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If you would rather read this weekend and are looking for takeaway tips that are all in one place, check out my ebook So You Want To Be On TV. It’s a quick read that will give you the insider’s look at how to get into television and do well once you are booked for a television segment. Click here to order a copy.

Well, that’s enough time sitting around the computer. Time to get back out and enjoy the rest of the holiday and raise a glass to the unofficial start of summer!

Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned…

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Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) Background graphics bring a TV story to life

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Meachun Clark Went From Red Lobster To The Red Carpet

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April 15, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

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Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” is where television folks before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Meachun Clark, AFTRA Coordinator for VH-1’s Big Morning Buzz Live, gives us a look at the various jobs she has had in TV production. Meet Meachun!

What’s your job title today? What are your job responsibilities?

I am the AFTRA Coordinator for VH-1’s Big Morning Buzz Live hosted by Nick Lachey. My duties include getting contracts and payroll forms completed by the various talent performing on the show. I also have to maintain a budget and do a lot of filing. I keep track of lots and lots of paperwork.

What is the best part and the hardest part of your job?

The best part is the feeling of satisfaction when my job is complete and the checks go out every week. It also doesn’t hurt that I get to witness amazing performances on a daily basis! The hardest part is convincing the talent to actually complete the paperwork when they first see the packet. It includes more than 10 pages! I sometimes feel like a schoolteacher when I check over their work to make sure it’s all correct before they leave the building.

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

You must be extremely organized because of the amount of paperwork you must generate and keep track of. It also helps to be personable when dealing with talent–as well as their reps–to get everything you need taken care of.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Executive Producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz Always Asks “Is This Good For The Show?”

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry? Why?

Extraordinary and exhausting. This industry is a great balance between those two words. On one hand, the experiences you gain are simply extraordinary–from doing shows in amazing locations around the world (all expenses paid), to the simplest things like having catered meals and not having to worry about what you’re going to eat when you’re super-busy. Not to mention the satisfaction of executing complex productions. You definitely live a life that is more glamorous than the average person’s, and you must make an effort to take it all in and appreciate that fact.

On the other hand, it’s an exhausting field of work. You work long hours, sometimes even through the weekend and have so much to process throughout the day. There are a lot of deadlines to meet, so you feel constant pressure.

Which person taught you the most in your career?

There are actually two women who both influenced me greatly.

Deborah Byrd, who is a talent producer for many awards shows and specials on BET like BET Honors, BET Awards, and BET Hip-Hop Awards. She first introduced me to the world of talent coordinating. She gracefully handles being inundated with tons of emails and phone calls of pitches for her shows. She always has a smile on her face and works extremely hard to create the best shows possible.

The other is Taryn Hurd, also an amazing talent producer who currently books The Academy Awards. She was my mentor when we worked together on various awards shows and television specials. She makes the long hours we spent in the office so much fun. She taught me how to work hard and play harder.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

Colored highlighters and to-do lists! I have a highlighter designated for each day of the week and I use it to check off tasks on my list as I complete them. Color cheers me up, so it makes me happy to see my notebook full of highlights at the end of the day. It makes me feel accomplished.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

Advertising.

I have found that hard work is good. However, there are other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

  • Treat EVERYONE you encounter with the utmost respect. From the PA up to the executive producer. You create a nice working environment for yourself when you pass someone in the hall and give them a smile or strike up a water-cooler conversation. Coworkers become like your family after you spend so many long hours and months working on a show. Also, today’s PA can easily become tomorrow’s executive and be in a position to hire you!
  • You cannot be starstruck and work around talent. We all have celebrities that are near and dear to our hearts, but you must remain professional at all times. Asking for pictures for your Instagram while you’re working makes for an awkward environment. You want the talent to be relaxed and able to stay focused on performing well.
  • Never stop learning. Don’t ever rest on your laurels. The industry changes so much from season to season. Never feel that a different position is beneath you. It helps to learn all aspects of production and be versatile. Don’t be a one-trick pony.

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Simply, be prepared to work LONG hours. Sometimes sleep and a social life are thrown out of the window. A lot of your job is what we like to call “hurry up and wait.” This means you have to wait for answers from various people before you can move forward with your duties. At the end of the day when the show goes on air, you have such an awesome adrenaline rush and sense of accomplishment.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Melinda Murphy Finds The Perfect Fit After TV

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

The most important thing I’ve learned is to enjoy every second and never take it for granted. As a freelancer, shows are canceled every day, and then you move on to the next gig. Cherish every opportunity you are given. No matter what walk of life you are from, chances are you have a television at home. Entertainment is one thing that bonds us all. Everyone loves to escape their everyday lives for a while.

When you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

I like to watch a lot of reality television and a few scripted shows like Scandal and Being Mary Jane. I truly enjoy studying human behavior and why people do what they do.

What do you plan to do when you leave television?

I actually never want to leave. I want to continue to evolve and eventually create and produce my own programming.

 

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Meachun Clark has been in the entertainment industry for 15 years. After graduating from Indiana University–where she worked at Red Lobster–she transferred to the Beverly Hills location to earn money while she looked for a job in the industry. She lucked up and found an executive assistant position with Bain/Sills Productions. She stayed there for 10 years where she evolved into a casting director, travel coordinator, talent coordinator, and, ultimately, SAG-AFTRA coordinator. Meachun has worked on wonderful live-event specials such as The Academy Awards, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, and even President Obama’s Inaugural Neighborhood Ball. As a colleague once said, “She went from Red Lobster to the red carpet.” She has worked as a freelancer for the past five years and loves the freedom to decide when to work and when to play. Connect with Meachun on LinkedIn.

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Thanks, Meachun!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) 3 ways to stay motivated to lead your business

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Melinda Murphy Finds The Perfect Fit After TV

Melinda Murphy
Editor in Chief at Singapore American Newspaper

March 24, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

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What’s the biggest job you had in television and what were your job responsibilities? 

I was a network correspondent for CBS News assigned to The Early Show. Covering primarily feature stories, I did the pieces that made people laugh or cry. I was often assigned stories but also pitched things I wanted to cover. I often traveled several days a week reporting on all sorts of cool things whether it be a rattlesnake roundup in Texas, the murky waters of Hurricane Katrina, or a showgirl stage in Vegas. I interviewed people, then worked closely with a producer to write a script and oversee the edit.

What are the best and hardest parts of that job?

The best part was the access I had–the feeling that I was sitting in the front seat of history. I got to meet people from all walks of life–people who were the cream of the crop in whatever the topic was. I saw breaking news up close and personal. There’s nothing like seeing something happening right in front of your eyes. Things you see in person are very different from what you see on TV. I loved the travel and the variety.

The hardest part for me was the competitive nature of television. It is not an industry for people with weak self-esteem. People criticize everything–not just your work, but your looks, your voice, your this, and your that.

Why did you leave TV?

Truth is, I’m not sure if I left TV or if TV left me.

The Early Show was wrapping up and I decided to concentrate on starting a family, which was very challenging for me. I’d delayed having kids until it was almost too late. Thankfully, I now have two wonderful children, but the process took a toll on my television career. By the time I’d had my second child and lost the baby weight, we were told that we’d be moving overseas.

We now live in Singapore. This is not an easy market for white television journalists. Channel News Asia, the biggest channel here, prefers Asian faces. Western outlets want experts in Asian news or business news, and neither is my expertise.

When Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, I knew I could probably call a Western outlet and cover the story, but I realized I didn’t want to go. I didn’t want to be gone for many weeks with no sure end in sight. That was eye-opening for me. Even so, realizing my television career was probably over–really over–was very hard for me. Television is a bit like an addiction. Once bitten, it’s hard to shake.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Executive Producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz Always Asks “Is This Good For The Show?”

 

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What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

I think people skills are the most important in ANY job. That’s true in this job, too. After that–whether it be television or print–you need to be a good writer. If you can’t write, you can’t report–period. Curiosity is the other key. Without it, there’s simply no point in working as a journalist.

What two words would you use to describe the television industry and why?

Exciting and demanding. Television is a ball. You get to see things. You get to go places. You get to meet people. You have a story to tell at the end of every day. That’s the whole point, right? So it’s exciting. It’s also demanding. There are no holidays in television. The news must go on. If something breaks, you work through the night or maybe several nights. If a deadline moves, so do your dinner plans. If you want to work in television, you’d better be willing to put everything else aside.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

Somebody once told me that you need an anchor to your kite. My anchor has been my family and friends. I learned long ago that friends are very fickle in the television industry. Some folks like you because you’re on TV. More often, friendships are made because you are together so much flying on a plane, driving in a car, and sitting in an edit room. When you aren’t together all the time anymore, your friendship fades. But real friends–lifelong heart friends–those friends know you and keep you grounded. And my husband is great. He’s just a good, strong, stable fellow. I’m very lucky.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you pursue?

I studied architecture for a while, and I’ve renovated several homes. I think I’d love working in that field somewhere. Television is a visual art, too; it’s just a different format.

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What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

1. Believe in yourself because nobody will believe in you like you will. Not your mother, not your agent, not your spouse. You must toot your own horn.

2. Work hard. Work really, really hard. Don’t think something is beneath you or shirk an assignment. Big jobs in television don’t come without a lot of hard work and sacrifice.

3. Don’t take yourself too seriously. It’s just television.

What are you doing now?

I’m the editor-in-chief of Singapore American, a small newspaper that is widely read by the expat community. I wouldn’t call it hard-hitting journalism. After all, Singapore is a benevolent dictatorship. Journalism here is a relative term and stories are censored. What I like about my job is that I have a bit of access again. I get to rub elbows, interview interesting people, and sharpen my writing skills. Before I was a reporter, I was a producer/senior producer of a variety of programs. It’s also nice to manage again, even if only in a small way. And, yes, it’s the perfect mommy job. I can balance my two worlds, which is very hard as a television journalist. I’ve had several freelance jobs since leaving television. This full-time job is the best fit so far for where I am now.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Career Transition For Clare Hickey

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today.

Don’t go into television because you want to be famous. Go into it because you are curious, you want to see the world, and you want to make a difference. You have to love your career in television because it’s all-consuming. Fame is fleeting and overrated and very hard to come by. Most television journalists aren’t well-known. We’re just working stiffs who happen to work in front of the camera.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

Television is a fantastic career–fantastic! But remember to take care of yourself and your family first. Find an anchor to your kite. When you’re 85 on your deathbed, your career won’t be there to hold your hand. Your family and friends will be.

Finally, when you are relaxing what do you like to watch on television?

Scandal!

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Melinda Murphy, Editor-in-Chief of Singapore American newspaper

Melinda Murphy is a multifaceted, Emmy award-winning journalist with vast experience in a wide variety of genres as a producer, writer, editor, and on-air correspondent. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Singapore American newspaper.

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) Bonding with a client over a workout

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: Executive Producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz Always Asks “Is This Good For The Show?”

Lora Wiley-Lennartz,

March 10, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Lora Wiley-Lennartz,

Lora Wiley-Lennartz, Executive Producer of Arise & Shine

Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” is where television folk before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, the executive producer of Arise & Shine on Arise TV, gives us a look at the life heading up this weekend morning show. Meet Lora!

What’s your job title today and what are your job responsibilities? 

Executive producer of Arise & Shine, a live weekend morning show on Arise TV, hosted by actress/comedienne Rain Pryor and International News correspondent Priya Sridhar.

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

You need to be a psychologist, manager, cheerleader, air traffic controller, coach, ageless, and most of all, egoless. The main question I focus on in decision-making as an executive producer is this: “Is this good for the show?” If the solution is best for the health of the show, it is usually the best for everyone involved. If the show wins, we all win. So I am big on people putting their egos and feelings aside for the sake of creating a great show. Everyone involved may not win every day, but if the show wins overall, that’s good for everyone in the long term. Fortunately, I currently work with an amazing creative team that supports one another beautifully.

Executive Producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz with Arise & Shine team and  Arise On Screen producers Steven Ramey and Debbie Mitchell Photo Credit: Bernhard Lennartz / Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

Executive Producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz with Arise & Shine team and Arise On Screen producers Steven Ramey and Debbie Mitchell
Photo Credit: Bernhard Lennartz / Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

What are the best and hardest parts of your job?

The best part is working at a network staffed with wonderful, talented, and funny people. I laugh and am inspired all day long. I am also honored to be part of the first black international news network. The hard part is the challenge of growing a new show within the frame of a start-up network. However, these challenges have forced me to expand upon my creative problem-solving skills, which is a positive.

What two words would you use to describe the television industry and why?

Organized chaos. You can plan and manifest and communicate and button everything down. Then some random chaotic occurrence will inevitably happen to throw the whole thing off balance. The trick is to anticipate the hurdles, be calm, and tackle them with as much grace and creativity as you can.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field? 

I don’t compete. My greatest strength has always been my creativity, so I guess my ritual would be putting my best creative foot forward and not worrying about the rest. Every day, I try to bring the highest creative energy I can to my work by encouraging the producers and originating ideas and concepts. I do watch other shows; however, I’ve been working in the talk show arena a long time and am way past petty competition. I love it when I am surprised by a great concept.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Career Transition For Clare Hickey

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you pursue? 

A big left turn here. For over 20 years, I have been a passionate scuba diver. My dream job would be a marine mammal veterinarian. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure I would flunk out of veterinary school.

What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry? 

Adapt. Take every opportunity to learn new technology, even if it is not in your direct job description. I’ve been an early adaptor since the 90s, and it has served me well.

Network. Make an ongoing effort to expand, nurture, and maintain your contacts.

Laugh. Keep or develop your sense of humor. It’s one attribute that will see you through the tough times.

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Don’t skip a step! Start at the bottom and work your way up learning every job along the way. This will make you all the more knowledgeable and successful when you are at the top of your game. Too many young people today want to climb up the ladder too fast, which hurts them in the long run. I have been a production assistant, associate producer, producer, supervising producer, and executive producer. I know every job inside and out because I have done it myself, so it’s easy to gauge early on when a member of my staff is not living up to the job or their potential.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television? 

Be fearless.

Finally, when you are relaxing what do you like to watch on television?

I like edgy shows with complex characters and sharp writing like Sons of Anarchy, Orange Is the New Black, Orphan Black, Justified, Homeland, Transparent, and Breaking Bad. I get hooked on any television show where every episode feels like the season finale.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Culinary Cues) | Gourmet Holiday Delights From Munich’s Dallmayr Market

Lora Wiley-Lennartz,

Lora Wiley-Lennartz
Photo credit: Muge Karamanci

Lora Wiley-Lennartz is an Emmy-nominated producer, media coach, and food blogger/writer who has produced the best of the best TV personalities both nationally and internationally. She is currently the executive producer of Arise & Shine, a live weekend morning show on Arise TV. Lora is also the author/creator of the baking blog, Diary of a Mad Hausfrau and is the German food expert at about.com.

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Thanks, Lora!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Geraldo Rivera on how he uses the power of social media

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | A Beautiful Birthday Weekend | Meet Executive Producer Lora Wiley | Geraldo Gets Power Using Social Media

Arise On Screen editorial and on-air team at Arise TV
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell/Deborah Mitchell Media Associates

March 9, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

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Photo Credit: Lora Wiley-Lennartz

Since my birthday fell on a Saturday this year, I was celebrated during a workday. After a morning taping of Arise On Screen this weekend, my team surprised me with a beautiful cake and champagne!

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(clockwise from left) Nick Viagas, Lance Huff, Chuck White, Steven Ramey, Julian Roman, Jamaine Kingston, Mike Sargent, Catherine Smalls, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, Michelle Lynne Madar, Debbie Mitchell, and Monica Castillo
Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell

Oh, I LOVE my team! We know how to have fun under the craziest circumstances. Line producer Steven Ramey, host Mike Sargent, and producer Lora Wiley-Lennartz–who baked the birthday cake–led the team. PA Michelle Lynne Madar, our interns Nick, Lance, and Catherine, and editors Jamaine and Chuck were part of the team that pulled off the surprise. Again, love you guys for making me feel like a queen on my birthday! My birthday partying continued through the day to include a small dinner party with friends and dancing into the wee hours of the next morning. Therefore, today’s post is going to be short since I’m still recuperating.

Related Post: HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!

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Jacqui Farmer, Paulette Brown, Lora Wiley-Lennartz, and Debbie Mitchell at Red Farms Restaurant, Upper West Side
Photo Credit: Lora Wiley-Lennartz

Speaking of Lora Wiley-Lennartz, her story in “My Life In Television” will start off our week. I’ve known her for over 25 years; we first met as producers on Geraldo’s daytime talk show. Today, we work together at the start-up network Arise News. Lora is the executive producer of the seven-month-old program Arise & Shine, a live weekend morning show on Arise TV hosted by actress/comedienne Rain Pryor and International News correspondent Priya Sridhar.

Over the past three years, I’ve written about the challenges of working on a start-up show. This week on Ready4Air (TV), Lora Wiley-Lennartz shares more about her life in television including the best and hardest part of running the weekend show. “The hard part is the challenge of growing a new show within the frame of a start-up network. However, these challenges have forced me to expand upon my creative problem-solving skills, which is a positive.”

Geraldo Rivera, Runner-up NBC's  The Celebrity Apprentice

Geraldo Rivera, runner-up of NBC’s The Celebrity Apprentice

Looks like I’m going back to the Geraldo family again this week. When I caught up with journalist and former talk show host Geraldo Rivera a few weeks ago–right before The Celebrity Apprentice finale–we talked about his first foray into reality television and his love of social media. I noticed that during The Celebrity Apprentice airing, Geraldo talked a lot about using social media during his many project challenges. I was impressed that at almost 72 years old, he has embraced and mastered the new media tools. But I really shouldn’t be surprised at all.

This week on Ready4Air (Social), I ask Geraldo a few questions about the world of communicating through social media. Rivera, who admits he didn’t embrace it right away, now says, “Generally speaking, it levels the playing field. I’m as powerful now as The New York Times, or any gossip columnist. I can respond, and if you make a charge against me, I can come after you with equal vigor and equal visibility.”

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And finally, in my recent post for Entrepreneur.com, “4 Effective Ways to Manage a Remote Team,” we share a few tips on how to work as a virtual team. “For the employee, the virtual work life creates room for a better work-life balance. For the employer, it broadens the pool of qualified employees since location is no longer a hindrance or a cost factor when hiring for a position. If that person is the right person for the job, then working remotely could be the perfect fit.”

Stay tuned to find out how to make your remote team work more efficiently.

Related Post: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) | 3 Simple Rules For Brands To Get The Most Out Of Bloggers

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Brands and Bloggers) Learn how networking can help build your client base

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Career Transition For Clare Hickey

Clare Hickey

March 3, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Clare Hickey

Clare Hickey, Freelance Producer
Photo credit: Clare Hickey

I am excited to launch Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” where television folk before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Clare Hickey, a freelancer in a career transition gives us a look at the life of a freelance video producer. Meet Clare!

What’s your job title today? What are your job responsibilities?

I am currently in a career transition. I am a freelance video producer for Bloomberg L.P. and work in the Employee Communications/Video group. We produce a variety of videos that highlight new corporate initiatives, employee profiles for posting on the Bloomberg Career page of their website, messages to offices around the globe, and the like. I coordinate shoots, develop content, write scripts, gather video, and oversee edits. My television production background and experience is put to use every day. I also produce a weekly show for Bloomberg radio called Bloomberg EDU. Each week, the host, Jane Williams, focuses on current topics and issues relating to K-12 education. It airs several times each weekend in New York, Boston, San Francisco, and on Sirius XM radio. This role requires a lot of reading and understanding the challenges in today’s world of education. I research, book guests, pre-interview and edit one segment each week, “Honor Roll,” that profiles a person or organization making a positive impact on students.

What is the best part and the hardest part of your job?

The best part of my job is when there is work. The hardest part is when there are no projects. The television industry has changed dramatically in the more than 20 years since I began, but I still enjoy it. The best part is seeing a project through. And in the end, with all the obstacles, there is a tangible video or package that looks good and I feel good about. The hardest part? There are so many. It could be limited resources. Not having enough or the right b-roll. However, I think the most frustrating is that everyone’s got an opinion. You might think something looks or sounds great. Or your script tells the story clearly and smartly. Yet, the next person may see or read it differently. In the end, it’s the boss who has the final say.

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

As I stated, the industry has changed and so has the skill set required to keep gainful employment. Along with being a good storyteller, writer, and collaborator, technical skills are a must today. Knowing how to shoot and edit are a necessity. It’s not cost efficient for companies to pay a producer, a shooter, and an editor. They’d like to pay one person to do it all. And if you can do it all, you are way ahead of the game. Remember, kids today are growing up with technology. My 14-year-old son writes, shoots, and edits his own short movies. Imagine what he’ll be able to do when he gets out of college. Well, kids out of college today who want to work in media have all these skills. We, more “senior” in the industry, are competing against them for jobs.

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry? Why?

Day-to-day it’s not glamorous, but every so often you attend an event that is. And you attend the event because of your job in television. That’s fun. I still think it’s exciting. It’s also tedious, scary, and stressful. But getting “that” guest, or story or amazing video is a thrill. When you have all your elements and sit down to begin putting things together, it’s a bit overwhelming. Much like a puzzle with 1,000 pieces. But when you start putting the pieces in place and the picture becomes more clear, for me that’s exciting.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Chat with “The Talk” Senior Producer Lauren Danza

Which person taught you the most in your career?

I’ve learned from so many people. I’ve learned the kind of professional I want to be as well as the kind of professional I DON’T want to be. My mother has taught me a tremendous amount about maintaining values while pursuing a career. My sister, Marie Hickey, is New York Bureau Chief for Extra. She has shown me that to work in this business, you need a tough skin. Geraldo Rivera is the perfect example of someone who has passion for his work. A former managing editor (whom I won’t name) showed me the kind of professional I do not want to be. Monica Bertran, my current manager at Bloomberg, has been a great example of always building yourself and creating new opportunities. And she is a fantastic writer and producer! These are just a few. I am fortunate that I’ve been able to work with so many wonderful television professionals.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

So simple, but I try to be nice and maintain relationships. I’m not cutthroat. Perhaps that’s why I’m in a career transition now, but being ultra competitive is not in my fiber.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

In college, while pursuing my BA in Communications, I had a big, professional, girl crush on Martha Quinn (original MTV VJ). I wanted to do exactly what she was doing. But I didn’t put the effort in. Instead, I graduated, moved home, and took the first job offered to me (which was not in television.) A mistake. I should have been more passionate. Now that I’m older–I like to think wiser–I might have gone a slower and more steady route 20 years ago, perhaps pursuing a career in my county’s communications office. There’s a lot to be said for steady work, benefits, and a pension. Hindsight is so clear, I should have been more aggressive in either direction.

 What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

–Read. Read. Read. Know something about everything from politics, to business, to music, to TV shows, to fashion, to cars.

–Be okay with working late, overnights, through storms, missing holidays, cancelling dinner plans.

–Appreciate what you do. So many people want to work in television and if you’ve been able to pull it off, enjoy it! And if you don’t, get out and make room for someone else.

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Throw your whole self into it. It’s fun. It really is. But it’s grueling. It really is.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

Stay on top of trends and technology. Create a niche for yourself. Become really good at one area or knowledgeable about a topic that few others are.

When you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

I usually tend toward news channels. I’m also a big fan of The Middle, Meet the Goldbergs, and Modern Family. Also Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. And I’ll admit, I’ve been known to get caught up in a season of The Bachelor or The Bachelorette every now and again.

What do you plan to do when you leave television?

I’m hoping to work closer to home in a job that has more stability than television. I’m at a point where I’m eager for the slow and steady and want to find glamour and excitement in other areas of my life. But, no regrets. I’ve loved my career in television. And if I end up working in the industry until I can no longer work, than I’m happy with that, too!

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: TV Writer Michelle Jaffe Sherry Pens Her Story

Clare Hickey, Freelance Producer Photo credit: Clare Hickey

Clare Hickey, Freelance Producer
Photo credit: Clare Hickey

Clare Hickey has a television career that spans more than twenty years. She started out as a secretary at Tribune Entertainment and eventually worked with the team at Geraldo. Hired as a researcher, she was promoted to the role of associate producer and then show producer. Later recruited by Bloomberg LP, she developed lifestyles and entertainment coverage for the growing media outlet. After 13 years with Bloomberg, Clare was hired by WRNN-TV as senior producer/specials and producer of the weekly show, Heroes on Our Island. Recognized by the Academy of Arts and Sciences she earned four Emmy nominations in one year. In addition, she has received awards from the New York Press Club, the New York State Associated Press, and The Fair Media Council.  Clare lives in Westchester County with her three children and her dog, Franky.

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Thanks, Clare!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Learn how and why you should create a podcast

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Chat with “The Talk” Senior Producer Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza, Senior Producer  CBS "The Talk"
Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

February 26, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

Lauren Danza, Senior Producer  CBS "The Talk" Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza, senior producer of CBS’s The Talk
Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

I am excited to launch Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” where television folk before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Lauren Danza gives a look at the life of a senior producer on the CBS network daily entertainment show The Talk. Meet Lauren!

What’s your job title today? What are your job responsibilities?

I’m a senior producer at The Talk. I’m responsible for producing celebrity guests, cooking segments, musical acts, and, occasionally, authors and lifestyle experts.

In the case of a celebrity segment, this includes: researching the guest and the current project they are promoting; working with the guest’s publicity team to arrange pre-interview and logistics; conducting a pre-interview with the guest over the phone; gathering video and graphic elements to be used in the segment; developing an overall outline for the interview, including questions our hosts may ask and any games or comedy bits that we intend to do as part of the segment; briefing the hosts and the guest before the show; communicating our plans with our director and crew, including our art department and props department, as needed; and executing the segment from the stage floor during the live show.

What is the best part and the hardest part of your job?

They go hand-in-hand. In my opinion, the hardest part of producing a great talk segment is finding that little “nugget” of previously unknown information about your guest, or coming up with a creative idea that will set your segment out from any that viewers have seen before. When those things come together, it can often lead to a great TV moment.

My best example of this came when I was assigned to produce actress Valerie Harper shortly after she was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. By the time she made it to The Talk, she had already appeared on several news and talk shows to discuss her diagnosis and plans for the future. During one of those segments, in a short retrospective of her career, I spotted an old black-and-white photo of her from the Rhoda days, posing outside her soundstage door. I noticed that it looked an awful lot like our own Stage 16 on the CBS Radford lot where we shoot The Talk. After doing some research, I indeed learned that Rhoda was shot on our stage. With that in mind, we surprised Valerie live on our show with a bronze plaque to be placed outside our stage door commemorating that Rhoda was shot there. The dedication brought her to tears. We also recreated the photo, more than 35 years after the original was shot.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: TV Writer Michelle Jaffe Sherry Pens Her Story

Valerie Harper outside the same studio where Rhoda was filmedPhoto credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

Valerie Harper, in 2013, outside the same studio where Rhoda was filmed
Photo credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

 

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

Excellent communication and writing skills, an outgoing personality with a natural curiosity about people, and the ability to work on deadline in a high-pressure environment.

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry? Why?

I’m willing to say it IS exciting (albeit, not every day). While we put in hard days and long hours, I try not to lose sight of the fact that I’ve had the chance to meet big-name celebrities, chefs, musicians, athletes, and newsmakers. Together as a show, we are entertaining millions of people across the country each day!

Nonstop. In the world of news, there are no weekends or holidays. You can’t show reruns. Even in entertainment, once the season starts, the train keeps rolling. As soon as you wrap today’s show, you’re thinking about tomorrow’s.

Which person taught you the most in your career?

Julie Chen, who I’ve worked with for ten years now at both The Early Show and The Talk, has taught me the importance of delivering information clearly, concisely, and accurately–whether you’re writing copy that will be read on-camera, pitching an idea to your boss, or briefing the hosts or guests.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

Remaining level-headed. It’s TV; it’s not life and death. Don’t beat yourself up if you lose a booking, a guest is less-than-friendly to you, or a segment didn’t go exactly as you planned. We producers tend to be perfectionists, and while it’s important to learn from your mistakes, I try not to let them get me down. The beauty of working on a daily broadcast is that you have no choice but to move forward and prepare for the next day’s show.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

Marketing or advertising.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | With The Clock Ticking, Producers Prep On Show Day

I have found that hard work is good. However, there are other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

Explore all areas of television. I never saw myself making the jump from news to talk, but I’m thankful every day that I did. I’ve also learned so much from my colleagues who have backgrounds as varied as primetime entertainment, comedy writing, development, and reality and game shows.

Be willing to work every shift there is. Sometimes the fastest way to more responsibility or a promotion is by volunteering for a shift that no one wants, even if it means giving up your nights or weekends.

Be kind to everyone. It takes a staff and crew of nearly 200 people to broadcast our show every day. Remember that everyone’s job is equally as important as yours when it comes to getting on the air. Befriending colleagues in every department of the show will benefit you greatly.

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Television is not a 9-to-5, Monday through Friday industry. Be prepared to be “on call” at all times. I’m very fortunate now to be on a show with reasonable hours, but if you are launching a new show or working on a news program, you may often be expected to drop whatever you are doing if duty calls. Weekends, family life, personal time, and even planned vacations are often infringed upon.

When you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

Parks and Recreation, Modern Family, Brooklyn 99, Mad Men, House of Cards, HGTV, and network morning news shows.

What do you plan to do when you leave television?

Retire on a beach somewhere.

Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza, senior producer of CBS’s The Talk
Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza is an Emmy-nominated senior producer at The Talk, a national daytime talk show on CBS hosted by Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Aisha Tyler, and Sheryl Underwood. She previously worked at CBS’s The Early Show, where she had the opportunity to cover a wide range of news stories, including the 2008 presidential election, as well as the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. She got her start as a desk assistant at NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.

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Thanks, Lauren!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Learn how to create a podcast

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (The Week Ahead) | And The Oscar Goes To | Do You Binge-Watch TV? | Meet CBS “The Talk” Senior Producer Lauren Danza

2 selma

February 23, 2015 | Posted in Social TV | By

 

Common and John Legend, 2015 Oscar Winners for Original Song "Glory" from the movie "Selma"

Common and John Legend, 2015 Oscar winners for Original Song “Glory” from the movie Selma

The awards season is finally over and bravo to all the winners. This weekend, the highest honors for cinematic achievement in the film industry were awarded at the 87th Academy Awards–one of the most controversial Oscar races in a long time. In sharp contrast to last year’s awards season, where the film 12 Years A Slave was nominated in several categories and won the award for Best Picture, Hollywood had an Oscar race with no diversity amongst its nominees in major categories. Host Neil Patrick Harris went right for it with his opening line where he stated the night was, “honoring the best  and whitest I mean brightest in Hollywood.” BOOM!

2 selma

This year, Selma–Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s story of the Bloody Sunday march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama–was shut out of the Best Actor and Best Director categories receiving no nominations, but the film was nominated for Best Picture and Best Original Song for “Glory.” Common and John Legend won for the song. The night had a few surprise Oscar winners (Best Original Score, Best Costume Design and Best Makeup & Hairstyling) for one of my favorite films of the year, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and a few expected ones, such as 60-year-old J.K. Simmons for Best Supporting Actor in Whiplash and Julianne Moore for Best Actress in Still Alice. While Michael Keaton did not win for Birdman, the film was also was a big winner, and Boyhood–the critics’ favorite–won only one statue for Patricia Arquette in the Best Supporting Actress category.

This year’s Oscar race was tight all the way to the finish line. Congratulations to all who crossed it to bring home the gold!

Ready4Air (Film) | Critic Jackson Murphy With His 2015 Lights-Camera-Jackson Movie Awards

 

tv and remote

This week on Ready4Air (TV), we ask you: How do you watch television? I must admit that I do not DVR shows but will watch a marathon showing of a program or watch it on demand in one sitting. Turns out, I am not alone. A new research survey conducted by tvmuse.com–the largest independent guide to online TV offerings–reveals interesting news on people who regularly binge watch television shows. So what popular shows are they watching? DMMA team member Alexis Trass Walker is guest posting and answers that question and tells us more about the survey and the TV viewing audience.

Ready4Air (TV) | Celebrity Apprentice: Geraldo Talks About Fundraising And His Foray Into Reality TV

Lauren Danza, Senior Producer  CBS "The Talk" Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

Lauren Danza, senior producer for The Talk on CBS
Photo Credit: Lauren Danza

For our series “My Life In Television,” Ready4Air shares Lauren Danza’s story. Lauren is the senior producer for the hot CBS show The Talk. I worked with Lauren during those long days and nights at CBS The Early Show. While her days are still long, Lauren made a beautiful transition to producing entertainment when she joined former CBS anchor Julie Chen on the daily chat show based in Los Angeles. The show, which premiered in October 2010, features hosts Julie Chen, Sara Gilbert, Sharon Osbourne, Sheryl Underwood, and Aisha Tyler. It is a ratings hit, giving ABC’s veteran chat show, The View, a run for its money! We asked Lauren who taught her the most in her career and she tells us, “Julie Chen, who I’ve worked with for 10 years now at both The Early Show and The Talk, has taught me the importance of delivering information clearly, concisely, and accurately–whether you’re writing copy that will be read on-camera, pitching an idea to your boss, or briefing the hosts or guests.”

Read more about Lauren’s life in television and her transition from news to entertainment.

Stay tuned…

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Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Learn how to create a podcast

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

Read More...

Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: TV Writer Michelle Jaffe Sherry Pens Her Story

Michelle Jaffe Sherry 
Photo credit: Michelle Jaffe Sherry

February 16, 2015 | Posted in Social TV, TV Production | By

Michelle Sherry Photo credit: is this a selfie?

Michelle Jaffe Sherry
Photo credit: Michelle Jaffe Sherry

This week, we continue Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” where television folks before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. Today, Michelle Jaffe Sherry–a freelancer–gives a look at the life of a TV writer. Meet Michelle!

What’s your job title today and what are your job responsibilities?

I am a freelancer so my title could change from job to job, but today, I am the writer for Arise and Shine on Arise TV.

As a television writer, explain the top three things to consider when writing copy.

First, so much depends on the type of show you’re writing. I write a lot of talk/information show scripts, and you have to keep in mind the voice of the reader. For example, it’s The Wendy Williams Show not The Michelle Sherry Show. The writing has to jive with her way of speaking. Second, you have to consider the length of the piece or segment. Is it a 30-second promo or an investigative tape package? Third, most times, less is more. An efficient and clever use of words is key.

How is writing for news, talk shows, and radio different?

I’ve never been a news writer, but I think in news you are doling out information. What you’re writing is being read word for word (for the most part), and the information needs to be accurate and clear.

For talk shows each talk show host is different. It depends on their comfort level with reading prompter, ad libbing, etc. Usually, you write intros and outros and then lay out the segment with either bullet points or questions. But the intros and outros are really like a series of teases. The object is to keep the viewer watching.

I produced one radio show, which was a combination of a music countdown and entertainment talk show. You’re mostly coming up with ideas and giving the hosts jumping-off points as opposed to writing actual scripts. But I did write a lot of games and questions for contests and competitions, etc. You want to make sure your hosts have a solid direction of what they’re talking about.

What are the best and hardest parts of your job?

The best part of the job is when you hear an audience respond to what you’ve written. If I write a funny intro, and the audience laughs at it, it’s a real rush! I can only imagine how comedy writers or comedians feel!

The hardest part is keeping it fresh. When you work on a talk show and you do a lot of the same topics, you still have to change it up. Also hard–but kind of fun if you’re crazy like me–are the last-minute changes that happen with live or live-to-tape TV. You have to move fast, and when you get it done, it’s great!

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Senior Producer Juggling Two Shows

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

Obviously, grammar and spelling are key. Plus, for TV, you really have to know how to turn a phrase. It goes back to the efficiency of words–something I don’t think I practiced answering these questions!

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry and why?

Manic and gritty! Manic because you’re working and then you’re not. You work 36 hours straight, then you sleep for 4 days. You make lots of money, then nothing. Gritty because it takes resourcefulness and determination to succeed in this crazy business. It’s not for the weak of heart.

Which person taught you the most in your career?

I can’t think of one in particular. I can think of many lessons I’ve learned, good and bad, from people in almost every job I’ve had.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

To remember that it’s not life and death. It’s television. The longer I’m in it, the stronger that mantra becomes. It puts the nonsense into perspective and makes me happier and more productive.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

I have always been intrigued by the hospitality business–hotel management or something like that.

I have found that hard work is good, but there are few other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

Be nice. It really makes a world of difference in the workplace and it’s good for the soul. Plus, people will want to work with you. But also, don’t be so nice that you’re a pushover.

Don’t forget from whence you came. In other words, remember those who helped you out when you were coming up and looking for work or for the next step, etc. You never know when they can help you and it will happen. Goes back to being nice.

Nothing’s fair. This was said to me in my internship at WCBS-TV, and every time I hear someone complain that something’s not fair in the workplace, I think of it. Learn how to fight your battles, which ones to fight, and then walk away–victorious or defeated–with your head held high.

Related Post: Ready4Air | What You Need To Do To Make A Midlife Career Change

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

Networking is everything. You can’t be shy. You have nothing to lose by reaching out to people if you do it in the right way. You’ll be disappointed by many, but then someone comes along that gets you through another day. No one likes doing it, but it’s how you get work. Also, read the trades, know the industry and the people in it, and learn from what you read.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

That like any relationship, your relationship with your career ebbs and flows. You’ll have great runs with great gigs, and more times than not they end, and you have to figure out what’s next. But that can be the most exciting thing ever, if you let it be. I’ve realized that I am extremely versatile and open to new adventures in my career. I have taken many leaps–some successful, some not–but I have no regrets.

Finally, when you are relaxing what do you like to watch on television?

So many things! I am a TV addict. Lots of Bravo, lots of prime time. Also lots of documentaries, biographies, etc. I’m always juggling my DVR to record everything!

Michelle Sherry Photo credit: is this a selfie?

Michelle Jaffe Sherry
Photo credit: Michelle Jaffe Sherry

Michelle Sherry is an Emmy-nominated writer/producer in television who works in news, talk, variety, and on-air promotion. Her career began at WCBS-TV News in New York, after a successful internship in the Channel 2 newsroom. After a short stint in the New York film business, Michelle returned to TV and worked on late night shows, including Saturday Night Live. She also worked on the launches of The Maury Povich Show and The Ricki Lake Show, and spent much of the past two decades in and out of daytime talk. Presently, she is writing for Arise and Shine, a weekend breakfast show on Arise TV. Michelle and her husband, Randy, live in Oakland, New Jersey, with their cute and very hairy dogs, Sydney and Gordon.

Thanks, Michelle!

Coming up: Ready4Air (TV) The dramatic conclusion of The Celebrity Apprentice

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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Ready4Air (TV) | My Life In Television: A Senior Producer Juggling Two Shows

Jessica Herzberg
Photo Credit: Jessica Herzberg

February 3, 2015 | Posted in TV Production | By

 

Jessica Herzberg Photo Credit: Jessica Herzberg

Jessica Herzberg
Photo Credit: Jessica Herzberg

This month, I am excited to launch Ready4Air’s latest series, “My Life In Television,” where television folk before and behind the camera share a slice of their lives in the TV industry. This morning, Jessica Herzberg–a CBS News The Early Show alum who is now at Fox Business Network–gives a look at the life of a senior producer. Meet Jessica!

 

What’s your job title today? 

I am a senior producer at Fox Business Network. I’m currently immersed in two shows: Making Money with Charles Payne, and Unpacked, a brand-new show we’re in the midst of launching the week of February 9.

What is the best part and the hardest part of your job?

The best part is the gratification of seeing the work I do come to life on TV. I always love seeing the ideas we conceive come together as great segments with cool on-air graphics and having the words I write being spoken by the host or anchor of the show. It just never gets old.

What skills does someone need in order to be good at your job?

I think being creative and a great writer are key, but to be successful in this business, you also have to have a sense of urgency. When you have live deadlines, there is no room for error.

Most people think television is glamorous and exciting. What two words would you use to describe the television industry? Why?

Now that I’m done laughing, I would say fun and grueling. Fun because despite being jaded, I do recognize that there are a lot of aspects to this business that are fun and cool. You get to try new things, and every day is a new day with a new show, so you always get to start with a clean slate. I enjoy and appreciate that. And grueling because this is a business where people work very long hours, including late nights and weekends, and your life can be dictated by what’s going on in the news.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | A Producer Reflects: The Night I Won An Emmy

Which person taught you the most in your career?

I don’t know that I can truly say that there is one person who taught me the most. I have worked on such a variety of shows that I have learned really integral things from a number of people. But among those who I feel really taught me the most are Steve Friedman, Alex Wallace, and Nanci Ross–all from my days at CBS.

What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded in the competitive television field?

Remembering that this isn’t brain surgery or life-and-death. We work in TV. And when I get home, my kids don’t care what I have done all day. They just want to know if I stopped off to pick up the new charger I promised to get or the birthday gift for the party they have tomorrow. That definitely keeps me grounded.

If you weren’t working in television, what other job would you have pursued?

I’m a real estate addict and even have my license, so I would have to say real estate. But part of me has always thought about being a lawyer, and my parents say I argue enough, so that might have been a career choice.

I have found that hard work is good. However, there are other important tips for survival in any business, but mandatory in the television business. What are your top three tips for survival in the television industry?

1) Have thick skin. This is not about you, personally–it’s about the show. You’ve got to let things roll off your back and keep going.

2) Keep smiling. Sometimes work sucks. Don’t complain. Just do the sucky things the same way you do the things you enjoy the most, and people will always want to work with you.

3) Don’t burn bridges. This is a very small, incestuous business, and someone you dislike today could very well be running the show you’re dying to work for tomorrow. Always be nice.

Related Post: Ready4Air (TV) | When Mom’s A Producer : 2TV Chicks, The Pilot…A Guilt Trip!

What is one piece of advice you want to pass along to someone else who is considering entering the world of television today?

You must be willing to start at the very bottom and learn all the seemingly low-level tasks if you want to get ahead. There is no room for entitlement. We have ALL worked the overnights, been the field assistant, and logged tapes. And it has made us all better.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learned during your years in television?

There is a way to be firm and not accept subpar work while still being (mostly) nice and letting your staff know you appreciate them. Yelling and screaming are just not productive.

When you are relaxing, what do you like to watch on television?

Either 60 Minutes or Real Sports, or mindless reality TV like the “Housewives” franchise.

What do you plan to do when you leave television?

Sleep :).

 

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Jessica Herzberg is an Emmy-nominated producer who is currently a senior producer at the Fox Business Network. She is with the show Making Money with Charles Payne, which she helped to launch in June 2014. She is in the midst of launching a brand-new show for the network, set to debut the week of February 9, 2015. Jessica has previously launched and run Money with Melissa Francis for FBN, as well as The Five for the Fox News Channel. In her time with Fox, Jessica was also the senior producer for America’s Election Headquarters during the 2008 election, as well as senior producer for Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld. Before her time at Fox, Jessica was a supervising producer for The Nate Berkus Show and spent eight years producing for The Early Show on CBS.

Jessica lives in New York City with her two children, Jake and Zoe. In her spare time, she indulges her real estate addiction (she is also a licensed agent), her obsession with doTERRA essential oils, and naps as often as possible.

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Thanks, Jessica!

Coming up: Ready4Air (Social) Must-Have Apps For 2015

Deborah J. Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell Media Associates – Photo Credit: Debbie Mitchell Graphic – Design: Nay Ayache

Emmy-nominated network television producer Deborah Mitchell is a veteran of ABC and CBS News, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and a board member of the James Beard Broadcast and Media Awards Committee. Through Deborah Mitchell Media Associates, she will create your online personality with a customized website, book you on the right television show, manage your social media profiles, and connect you with the best and brightest digital influencers. Deborah is a weekly contributor for Entrepreneur.com and author of So You Want To Be On TV. You can follow Deborah @SocialTVDeb and/or email SocialTVDeb@gmail.com, or email Nay Ayache on naydmma@gmail.com.  

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